Ross Metzger, PhD (right), Instructor, Vera Moulton Wall Center and Fan Zhang (left), Life Science Research Assistant, Metzger Lab

The Development, Maintenance, and Repair of the Pulmonary Vascular System

The lab uses genetics, single cell analysis, and state-of-the-art deep imaging to understand the cellular and molecular programs governing the formation and maintenance of the blood vessels in the lung, and what goes wrong with these programs in pulmonary vascular diseases. The pulmonary vascular system is an extensively branched tubular network of endothelial cells which line the vessels, along with the supporting cells that make up the vessel walls. Vascular development in the lung begins in the embryo, and continues after birth. The mature network is highly patterned, and coordinated with the stereotyped pattern of airways of the lung.  Using our 3D map of airway development, we have charted the development of the pulmonary arteries, veins, and capillaries.  We are interested in identifying the cell populations that give rise to these pulmonary blood vessels during development and that contribute to their maintenance and repair, and in the behaviors of these cells and the signals that control them.